5 Easy Steps (That are free) to improving your health

 

That’s right I said it, there’s a program out there that blows away all the competitors when it comes to health.  The results you will experience will be so powerful and life changing that the price to sign up is very reasonable.  The monthly cost for upkeep is also very reasonable.  What is the cost, you ask?

Nothing.  Yup, with all the shakes, supplements, and vitamins on the market they still cannot compete with the most amazing system that has ever been invented.  You.

Your body is a complex computer that makes billions of adjustments a second.  So with a complex system like yourself wouldn’t it stand to reason that you probably have everything inside of you to make yourself healthy?

After looking at tons of information online for the past few years I came to the realization that there are a few things you can do every day that will outperform almost every other program on the market today.  And for those of you that are believers of the products that you consume and/or sell, if you aren’t doing these things listed below then you aren’t getting the most benefits out of your products.

OK, enough rambling, I will get to the program.  Starting today you should:

  1. Drink More Water

  2. Get Sleep

  3. Go for Walks

  4. Do Some Meditation

  5. Stretching

I know, I know……..That is the dumbest plan you have ever seen.  Many will read that plan and think they have to do Cross-fit, or Paleo Diet…….Maybe Vegan or Raw or Organic or any number of other amazing ways to live your life.  Those all have their place and they can be incorporated in anyone’s life with a little bit of planning.

With the 5 items above you can start this today with no extra money and it will improve the way you feel. 

I want to break down a few of these items real quick so you have some facts behind it.  I will also provide some resources that I have used in the past that have served me well.

 

1. Drink More Water

Here are some top health benefits of drinking water.

1. Relieves Fatigue

If you often feel tired, there is a high chance that it could be due to inadequate consumption of water which makes the body function less efficiently. In fact, fatigue is one of the first signs of dehydration.

When there is less water in the body, there is a drop of blood volume which causes the heart to work harder to pump oxygenated blood out in the bloodstream, and other major organs also work less efficiently. Thus, drinking adequate water can help your body function better and reduce fatigue.

2. Improves Mood

Research indicates that mild dehydration (even one or two percent lower hydration level of hydration than optimal) can negatively affect your mood and ability to think.

A small study conducted on 25 women and published in the Journal of Nutrition found that being dehydrated can take a toll on your mood and cognitive function. The color of your urine is a good indicator of your level of hydration. The lighter the color the better the level of hydration and vice versa.

3. Treats Headaches and Migraines

If you have a headache or migraine, the first thing that you can do to get some relief is drink plenty of water. Headaches and migraines are often caused by dehydration.

In a study published in the European Journal of Neurology, researchers found that increasing water intake helped reduce the total number of hours and intensity of headaches in the study participants.

4. Helps in Digestion and Constipation

Water also improves the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. This helps in digestion and prevents constipation. Inadequate water in the body often results in constipation as the colon pulls water from the stools to maintain hydration, thereby making them harder and difficult to pass.

Drinking sufficient water boosts your metabolism and helps the body properly break down food. This helps your digestive system work well and promotes regular bowel movements. Warm water, in particular, is good for digestive health.

5. Aids Weight Loss

In a clinical trial, scientists found that drinking two eight-ounce glasses of water prior to meals can help suppress appetite and hence support your weight loss efforts. When you drink water, it fills your stomach and reduces the tendency to eat more.

Plus, it helps increase the rate at which the body burns fat, and promotes the breakdown and elimination of fat cells.

Calorie-free water is also a great replacement for high-calorie drinks like alcohol, sugary fizzy drinks and sodas that often contribute to weight gain.

6. Flushes Out Toxins

Water is an excellent detoxifier as it helps flush out toxins from your body and get rid of waste primarily through sweat and urine.

It also promotes kidney function and reduces kidney stones by diluting the salts and minerals in urine that cause kidney stones.

Though you need to drink adequate amount of water throughout the day, experts warn against drinking too much water (although uncommon still, it is possible) as it may reduce your kidneys’ ability to filter out waste.

Thus, it is recommended to drink the amount of water your body requires. As the amount of water required by the body tends to differ from one person to another, it is usually suggested to drink to your thirst, and also include other fluids and foods with high water content in your diet.

via Top 10 Health Benefits of Drinking Water | Top 10 Home …

 

2. Get more sleep

 

Sleep keeps your heart healthy.
Add sleep deprivation to the list of risk factors that can leave you spending a lot of time in a cardiologist’s office. “Poor sleep quality is linked to heart health problems, from high blood pressure to heart attacks,” says Paruthi. Here’s why: Regularly shortchanging yourself on sleep can lead to a surge in stress hormones such as cortisol. The uptick in stress hormones compels your ticker to respond by working harder, and it doesn’t get the rest it needs, says Paruthi.

It prevents you from packing on pounds.
A good night’s rest won’t necessarily result in losing weight, but it can keep you from adding unwanted pounds. First, sleeplessness cranks up production of the hormone ghrelin, which boosts appetite, says Michael Breus, Ph.D., sleep specialist and author of The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan. “It also leads to a decrease in the hormone leptin, which signals feeling full,” says Breus. And by making you more stress-prone and low-energy, lack of sleep reduces your ability to fight junk food cravings. Give in to the office vending machine, and that candy bar will send your blood sugar surging, then crashing, leaving your appetite raging all over again.

It lowers your odds of a car crash.
Because a sleep debt slows your reaction time and reduces your ability to focus, “driving a car when you’re low on sleep is just as dangerous as driving drunk,” says Paruthi. Research backs this up: People who regularly sleep six to seven hours per night are twice as likely to get in an accident as those who usually score at least eight hours, according to a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Catch less than five hours, and your odds of a crash quadruple, reports the study.

Sleep strengthens your immune system.
Want to stay off the injury list and take fewer sick days? Make a habit of getting high-quality rest to keep the immune cells and proteins of your immune system in fighting shape. That, in turn, improves your ability to beat back colds, the flu, and other infections. Sleep also makes vaccines more effective. “After getting a shot, people with sleep issues don’t develop the same antibody response as well-rested people, and that leaves them more susceptible,” says Paruthi.

It keeps your brain from frying.
Remember that 1980s PSA that compared a cracked egg to your brain on drugs? Well, that sizzling egg is similar to your brain on sleep deprivation. While getting proper sleep is linked to improved concentration and higher cognitive functioning, even one sleepless night sets you up to feel fuzzyheaded, scattered and unfocused the next day. Your memory recall isn’t as sharp, and everything you do is in slow-mo, says Paruthi. That puts your job at risk. “You’re more likely to make mistakes at work, for example, but less likely to realize it and correct them,” she says.

It fires up your sex life.
Steady, quality shut-eye keeps testosterone levels high, prevents erection problems and ensures that you’re never too exhausted for sex. Cheat yourself out of sleep, however, and you cheat yourself out of great sex. Research shows that men who sleep less than six hours nightly have lower levels of testosterone, says Paruthi, and flagging testosterone can sink sex drive.

It can prevent headaches.
If you get stress headaches, scoring plenty of rest will help keep them from striking, says Paruthi. Sleep deprivation also plays an indirect role in making your head hurt as well by making you less able to cope with stress and anxiety, two things that can trigger a throbbing skull, even when you’ve had plenty of R&R.

It keeps you in top form at the gym.
Quality sleep is like nature’s sports supplement, improving your speed, hand-eye coordination, reaction time and muscle recovery. Thing is, even short-term sleep deprivation messes with these, throwing off your performance at the gym. Also, a 2013 study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that sleep deprivation reduced muscle strength and power the next day, particularly if your workout was later in the afternoon.

It boosts your mood.
Think about the last time you slept really well: You probably woke up feeling brighter and optimistic, had more energy and drive and were less likely to let little challenges — like bad traffic or a heavy workload — lead to anger and frustration. Well, subpar sleep habits can have the opposite effect. “Even one night of sleeplessness can makes you cranky and irritable the next day,” says Paruthi. You’re also more vulnerable to stress and anxiety. All of these can make it harder to fall asleep the next night, so you become trapped in a cycle of sleeplessness and bad mood. The escape plan: vowing you’ll go to bed at a decent hour, and letting your system recharge and restore itself.

Sleep increases your pain threshold.
If you want to tough out physical pain, hit the sack. That’s the suggestion of a 2012 study from the journal Sleep, which divided study subjects into two groups, one that slept nine hours nightly and another that slept an average seven each night. Researchers then tested how long each participant could hold their finger to a radiant heat source. Subjects in the nine-hour group withstood the heat about 25 percent longer. It’s not clear why more sleep led to more pain tolerance, but the findings echo similar results in other studies and suggest that a long night’s sleep is a potent pain reliever.

It bolsters your relationships.
Considering that sleep deprivation contributes to crankiness and a crabby mood, it’s no wonder poor sleepers have more problems with their partner, including a greater likelihood of disagreements and a reduced ability to have empathy, says Paruthi. “Your sleep habits have a wider effect on the people around you than you think, contributing to relationship satisfaction and happiness,” she adds.

via The 11 Biggest Health Benefits Of Sleep | The Huffington Post

3. Go for Walks

Research even shows getting up and walking around for two minutes out of every hour can increase your lifespan by 33 percent, compared to those who do not.6 According to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), the average person only walks between 3,000 and 4,000 steps per day,7 but aiming for 10,000 steps is a better goal.

Slash Your Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer, Osteoporosis, and More

One study found that walking for two miles a day or more can cut your chances of hospitalization from a severe episode of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by about half.

Another study found that daily walking reduced the risk of stroke in men over the age of 60.  Walking for at least an hour or two could cut a man’s stroke risk by as much as one-third, and it didn’t matter how brisk the pace was.

Taking a three-hour long walk each day slashed the risk by two-thirds. Walking has additional benefits as well, including to your mood. Walking triggers your body to release natural pain-killing endorphins, and the more steps people take during a day, the better their mood tends to be.

Walking is even known to improve sleep, support your joint health, improve circulation, and reduce the incidence of disability in those over 65.  Research has also shown that walking 30 minutes a day may:

✓ Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease ✓ Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels ✓ Improve blood lipid profile
✓ Maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity ✓ Enhance mental well being ✓ Reduce your risk of osteoporosis
✓ Reduce your risk of breast and colon cancer ✓ Reduce your risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes

via New Study About the Benefits of Walking Daily – Mercola.com

 

4. Do Some Meditation

What are some of the health benefits of meditation?

While we understand that it cannot replace scientifically proven treatment modalities, meditation can be used as part of a multi-faceted approach for a number of ailments with compelling benefits.
Decreased blood pressure. The American Heart Association has released a statement that meditation may be considered in clinical practice to lower blood pressure.
Better sleep. In a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, participants who underwent a six-week program on mindfulness meditation had greater improvements in sleep quality and fewer symptoms of insomnia compared to those who were taught standard ways to improve their sleep hygiene.
Decreased depression and anxiety. In 2014, researchers from Johns Hopkins found that 30 minutes of meditation a day can improve some symptoms of anxiety and depression in patients with mild disease to the same extent as antidepressant medications. This effect likely stems from meditation’s effects on our brain waves, brain cell connections, actual structures (thickening some areas while making others less dense), and even molecules that send signals.
Dealing with chronic pain. While it is not clear how meditation decreases the suffering of people who experience chronic pain, it is believed that it alters pain perception.
Improved immune function. When our body is relaxed, our immune system is able to prepare for battle against germs, foreign invaders, and cancer.
More focus, improved memory. Studies have found that meditation training helped workers concentrate better, remember more of their work details, and stay energized and experience less negative moods.

via Health benefits of meditation – Washington Times

5. Stretching

 

 

Stretching may help you:

  • Improve your joint range of motion
  • Improve your athletic performance
  • Decrease your risk of injury

Stretching can help improve flexibility, and, consequently, range of motion about your joints. Better flexibility may:

  • Improve your performance in physical activities
  • Decrease your risk of injuries
  • Help your joints move through their full range of motion
  • Enable your muscles to work most effectively

Stretching also increases blood flow to the muscle. You may learn to enjoy the ritual of stretching before or after hitting the trail, ballet floor or soccer field.

via Stretching: Focus on flexibility – Mayo Clinic

 

I am not the guy that is in perfect health, and I admit that I don’t always do what is listed above.  If you want to focus on the messenger and not the message I totally understand that.  I encourage you to do some research on your own and try to implement the 5 steps above.  There are several ways to do these steps, even drinking water has a variety of way (Warm, Cold, Lemon Water, Empty Stomach, Before bed, etc.) but you have to find what works for you.

Start with the 5 above and then see how you feel.  After a creating a steady foundation you can branch off from there into a more involved program that you find you like.

So there it is, the 5 step program to getting you on your way to better health and as promised it cost you nothing but a decision to make some small changes.  Good Luck, let me know how it turns out.